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Flood Warning Update

05/30/2019

Flood Warning

NEWS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

OFFICE OF JEFFERSON COUNTY JUDGE GERALD ROBINSON

May 30, 2019

4:30pm

As Flood Dangers Rise, Jefferson County Judge Gerald Robinson Encourages Families to Map Out Safety Plan and Stay Informed

As Jefferson County braces for additional major flooding within the next week to ten days, County Judge Gerald Robinson is encouraging residents to use extreme caution, protect important documents and possessions, and be prepared to evacuate in flood-prone areas.

The current flooding along the Arkansas River is of historic proportions. The current height of the river is 47.39 feet and is expected to crest at 51 feet between June 5th and June 7th.  Experts with the National Weather Service predict communities along the Arkansas River will see record flooding as more rain hits our region. Raging flood water has already caused deaths and catastrophic property damage to our neighbors in Oklahoma, Louisiana and Missouri. Some parts of Arkansas have seen levees compromised and some homes in Jefferson County are already underwater.

The County Judge is urging residents to stay aware of changing weather conditions, assess whether you need to evacuate your home, pack important items (phone chargers, batteries, medicines, documents, irreplaceable valuables) and start securing alternative housing plans or emergency shelter.

At this time, the county has an emergency shelter set up at Family Church at 2309 Poplar Street in Pine Bluff. It’s the only emergency shelter in Pine Bluff currently. The Wright Pastoria Volunteer Fire Department in Wright, and the Swan Lake Volunteer Fire Department near Altheimer in the Swan Lake Community are also open as emergency shelters in the county. Residents in evacuated areas should bring clothing, bedding, medicine, and anything needed to keep comfortable for the duration of the flood danger which is likely to last at least two weeks.

Citizens should plan now while there is time. The affected communities include Tar Camp at Redfield, Island Harbor, Trulock Bay Road, Wright, Shepard Island, Swan Lake Recreation Road, Big Bayou Meto and Little Bayou Meto Recreation areas.  All residents in these areas are under mandatory evacuation orders.

Judge Robinson is encouraging everybody to sign up for alert notifications that Jefferson County will be updating from the emergency operations center. The website is https://JeffersonCounty911.onthealert.com. Please register your cell phones and landlines to receive critical emergency notifications as soon as possible.

The county is also closely monitoring the Potliquor and Packingtown communities in Pine Bluff as Arkansas’ aging levee system is challenged.

If you have questions or need assistance please call the Jefferson County Office of Emergency Management at 870-541-5470.

Please follow #ARFLOOD19 which is the hashtag for any flood-related news. Share this message with friends and family and take a moment to check on your elderly or disabled neighbors.